In Terrorist (2006) and Falling Man (2007), John Updike and Don DeLillo present two contrasting yet equally compelling visions of the post-9/11 United States. Based on a close textual analysis of the novels and additional primary and secondary research, this article examines the role of popular literature and novelists in rendering history. Using the novels as a framework, the essay investigates the role literature performs when addressing contemporary historical events, as well as what function the author's reputation and the book's reception play in this endeavor.

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